Preview 2017: Better Cushioning, Smoother Ride

Author: The Mizuno Shoe Guy

Published on: September 29, 2016
Led by the continued excellence of the Wave Rider and Wave Inspire franchises, Mizuno running had a resurgent 2016. But here at Mizuno our designers and shoe tech people never settle for the status quo and in 2017, Mizuno will deliver several new, innovative shoes as well as significant improvements in existing models.

Typically, we don’t talk much about our new lines so far in advance, but we’re so excited about our winter-spring 2017 shoes that we’re offering a short preview on what you can expect in the coming months. One caveat: Almost all of these new shoes and updates will be available at retailers in January, but our two most popular models—the new Rider and Inspire—will be out in mid-October.

Here’s our thumbnail sketch of what you can look for:

Neutral, cushioned category:

Wave Rider 20: $119.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15, 16, available in EE (wide); (w) 6-12, available in AA (narrow) and D (wide).
Weights: (m) 9.6 oz.; (w) 8.3 oz.

Incredibly enough, 2017 will mark the 20th year of the Wave Rider. Mizuno’s franchise shoe has always been counted on to deliver a light, flexible, smooth ride and the Rider 20 certainly continues that tradition as a fast trainer designed for runners with efficient gaits. Wave Rider loyalists are so passionate about their shoe of choice and we didn’t try to fix what isn’t broken.

Wave Rider fans will be on familiar turf with the Wave Rider 20, but our shoe techs tweaked the Neutral Wave (i.e., Parallel Wave) to provide a more cushioned feel at the all-important heel strike. There’s also a new heel wedge to enhance the cushioning. One other rearfoot adjustment is to the heel collar which uses a softer material to reduce any heel irritation. Another nice improvement is the use of a more breathable mesh in the upper.

Most importantly, the Wave Rider still has the distinctive signature fit which secures the foot and yet “disappears” from the foot at the same time. That is, the upper never gets in the way of the ride. This is keeping in line with the Mizuno design philosophy to provide runners only as much shoe as they need without any extraneous weight or technology.

All in all, the Wave Rider 20 provides an enhanced level of comfort, lightweight protection and responsive ride that has made it one of the premiere shoes in running. Available in mid-October.

Also new for 2017 is the Wave Rider 20 G-TX ($149.99). This is the same great Rider, but with a GoreTex lining to provide protection from wet winter running. Available in December.
Wave Creation 18: $159.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 12.7 oz.; (w) 10.3 oz.

The Wave Creation has been one of the cornerstones of Mizuno’s family of neutral shoes for nearly two decades. Since its introduction, the Creation has established a large following among runners who appreciate luxurious cushioning, responsiveness and great arch support.

For 2017, we maintained the same protection and cushioning runners love with the same plush, comfortable upper. Utilizing the heel-to-midfoot Infinity Wave, the Creation has exceptional full-length support and protection throughout the gait cycle. New upper colors available in January.
Wave Prophecy 6: $219.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 12.9 oz.; (w) 10.5 oz.

Since its introduction in 2011, the Wave Prophecy has been one of the most unique shoes on the entire running market. Most of the attention has focused on its full-length Infinity Wave which provides the dynamic, propulsive ride that is unlike any other shoe. The Prophecy’s midsole is almost entirely mechanical which means it isn’t foam dependent like all other running shoes and thus has much greater durability and won’t lose cushioning on long runs.

None of that has changed in the Prophecy 6. The cushioning brilliance of the Prophecy as well as its snug, natural fit which conforms to the shape of your foot has not been altered. Available in January.

Wave Enigma 6: $149.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 11.2 oz.; (w) 9.2 oz.

A favorite among runners looking for plush cushioning and surprising support for a neutral shoe, the Enigma didn’t undergo any sweeping changes. Instead, just a few minor touches such as a redesigned Neutral Wave sandwiched between two cushioning layers to provide a softer feel. The upper has also been tweaked to provide a snugger fit. Available in December.

Wave Sayonara 4: $109.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 8.6 oz.; (w) 7.2 oz.

The go-fast shoe in Mizuno’s neutral family, the Sayonara is unchanged for winter, 2017. That is, it has the same light, cushy ride as before which is ideal for fast-paced training and/or racing. Available in January.

Support category

Wave Inspire 13: $119.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15, 16, available in EE (wide); (w) 6-12, available in AA (narrow) and D (wide).
Weights: (m) 11 oz.; (w) 9 oz.

The Wave Inspire doesn’t have the same lengthy history as the Wave Rider does, but in the moderate stability category the Inspire is the leader in lightweight support. And just like the Wave Rider 20, the Wave Inspire 13 underwent a few revisions which adds some softness in the heel as well as softer heel collar to alleviate any heel irritation and snug the heel.
But the cushioning and supportive Double Fan Wave of the Inspire hasn’t changed. It still has that stable, light ride as well as its distinctive glove-like fit which legions of runners have come to love. Available in mid-October.
Wave Paradox 3: $139.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15, 16 with EE width; (w) 6-12 with D width.
Weights: (m) 11.3 oz.; (w) 9.5 oz.

If your running gait demands maxi support, the Paradox 3 is your ticket. This underrated shoe has all the support just about any runner would need (including those who wear orthotics), but without the extreme weight bulkiness of traditional ultra-supportive shoes. The Paradox 3 is unchanged. New upper colors available in January.
Wave Catalyst: $109.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 9.5 oz.; (w) 8 oz.

For plenty of runners, a light ride is of paramount concern. But these same runners still need a bit of support for their speed days and/or racing. In other words, the brilliant Wave Catalyst.

The Wave Catalyst 2 not only looks like a fast shoe, it feels almost as fast as most flats. And like Mizuno racing shoes, the improved, sleek upper of the Catalyst never gets in the way on fast days or races.

With its introduction last year, the Catalyst was an immediate hit for runners who want a lightweight performance shoe but who still prefer some degree of support. The lively midsole has terrific spring and road feel (as well as a cushioned forefoot). The Catalyst isn’t as supportive as the Inspire or the Paradox, but at high speeds its added support smoothes the gait for those who need it. Yet, the support isn’t so restrictive that it doesn’t get in the way of efficient runners.

The fit of the Catalyst 2 has been upgraded with a more breathable forefoot mesh. Another touch has been a more responsive and durable midsole compound in the rearfoot.

The light, responsive ride of the Catalyst 2 is so amazing that you’ll forget you even have a shoe on. Ideal as a racing and training shoe, the Wave Catalyst 2 is one great shoe. Available in February.

Wave Horizon: $159.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 11.5 oz.; (w) 9.7 oz.

Runners who need enhanced support but still want plush cushioning have generally been out of luck. Enter the brand new Wave Horizon which delivers on both counts. The Horizon has that supremely cushioned midsole that runners love, but with the stable ride that so many runners need for injury-free running.

The Horizon will redefine supportive shoes. Say good bye to midsole firmness and hello to highly cushioned ride. With a Stability Wave Plate, the Horizon certainly delivers the support but with a midsole which rivals the Enigma for top notch cushioning. Add on a light, highly breathable mesh upper and the Horizon absolutely provides an unsurpassed level of comfort with that trademark Mizuno support package. If you’ve appreciated the support of the Inspire but longed for greater cushioning, the Wave Horizon demands a test run. Available in February.

Wave Hayate 3: $119.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 8.8 oz.; (w) 7.6 oz.

The Hayate 3 is made to get beat up on the trails. With all new Michelin, gripping outsole, the Hayate has improved durability and protection due to a new rock plate. Light and flexible (for a trail shoe) the Hayate allows the foot to adapt to the uneven surfaces of the most rugged trails.
Available in February.

Wave Daichi 2: $129.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 10.4 oz.; (w) 9 oz.

Need the support and cushioning of a road shoe with the enhanced traction of a trail shoe? Look no further than the Daichi 2. With the same terrific traction package as the Hayate, the Daichi is slightly heavier but has much better cushioning that makes this the ideal shoe to wear on the roads, back and forth to your favorite soft surface trails. Available in February.

Racing shoes

Wave Ekiden 11: $119.99

Sizes: Unisex 5-12, 13. Weight: 5 oz.

The Ekiden has been a popular racing shoe with Japanese runners for several years and for 2017, we’ve reworked its outsole to give it a springier toe off and greater traction. One of the lightest racing shoes on the market, the Ekiden retains that quick heel-to-transition which experienced racers demand. Available in February.

Wave Hitogami 4: $99.99

Sizes: (m) 7-13; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 7.6 oz.; (w) 6.5 oz.
The Hitogami is that rarity: A light, moderately cushioned racing shoe which many minimalists and fast, efficient trainers are drawn to for training and racing. The snug fit has been retained, but the midsole has greater durability and responsiveness. The Hitogami isn’t the lightest racing shoe on the market, but it’s ideally suited for the racer who needs a bit more cushioning underfoot and still treasures a light shoe with good toe spring. Available in January.

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